Brand Boosting Success with Crowdsourcing

Published Nov-16-15

Breakthrough:
A travel company launched a quirky crowdsourcing initiative to boost its profile in a new market.

Company:
BA Holidays, United Kingdom

The Story:

Brand Boosting Success with Crowdsourcing British Airways lays claim to be one of the first travel brands to crowdsource ideas with customers and the general public.

In 2011, the airline asked the crowd to help it design and choose new menus, livery and in-flight movies. The project started in 2009 in advance of the 2012 Olympic Games, which were held in London.

Such was its success that British Airways worked with the crowd again in 2014 on another ambitious project.

Raising Profile on a Limited Budget

At the beginning of that year, BA holidays needed to solve two challenges. One was to raise awareness of its brand in the full-service holiday market, where it was a newcomer and the second was a limited marketing budget to achieve this aim. And this is where the crowd came in.

BA Holidays launched a live integrated crowdsourced travel campaign that saw English comedian Joe Wilkinson set off on a travel expedition to a destination that was decided on by the crowd. Once he arrived at his journey’s end he had to undertake a series of experiences that the public voted for online.

On arrival at the airport, Joe asked the crowd to vote on where he should go: Dubai, Marrakesh, New York or Prague. They selected New York, and during his week-long adventure, his travel fate rested entirely in the crowd’s hands.

To encourage audience participation, all of those who got involved were offered the chance to win a BA Holiday. Amazon vouchers were also given away to the authors of the best tweets.

Itinerary Suggestions

Throughout his journey he interacted with the public via social media and their comments featured in live feeds of a newspaper that had partnered with British Airways for the initiative. Among the activities he undertook were the Sex and the City Tour and recreating the famous Marilyn Monroe scene on a sidewalk vent where her skirt billowed up and out (although dressed in jeans, coat and a woolly hat, his take was somewhat different).

Success with Crowdsourcing

The crowdsourcing program succeed in its aims of marketing the BA Holidays brand to a wider audience. There were advertorials, newspaper articles as well as the public’s enthusiastic involvement in online social media activities.

Reasons to Connect with the Crowd

Many companies have woken up to the idea that crowdsourcing is a superb way to connect with customers and generate publicity at relatively low cost.

The web is used by millions of people every single day and consequently is a vast pool of ideas and opinions. Smart companies can tap into these using crowdsourcing and open innovation, whether to solve problems, boost their profiles or co-create new products and services.

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